Meeting the Mormons [Part Three]

Up until several years ago, I had no idea what or who “Mormons” were. For the most part, I always though that they were part of the Amish community that lived a polygamous life. From an outsiders perspective, I didn’t know what they believed it or why they can be so secretive and strange.

My first encounter with the Mormon community was several years ago while on a family vacation back from Colorado. I wanted to see and go inside a “Temple”. We decided to stop in Cedar City to check it out not knowing that a Church building and Temple were two separate entities. Apparently, I ended up going to a Seminary building and sat inside one of their classes for about an hour. It was an interesting experience and I was surprised to see that Mormons looked and acted like “normal” people.

When I met my very first pair of Sister Missionaries, I was so curious on what they believed in. I was referred to local missionaries to get my questions answered. I met up with two “Sisters” named Sister Luter & Sister Lindsey. For the record, I seriously thought I was meeting up with Nuns. They both were actually really cool and very friendly. Eventually, they ended up teaching me about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I learned about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, I gained a testimony of it.

2014 | My very first time meeting Sister Missionaries. Sister Luter (left) and Sister Lindsey (right) at the LBCC Institute Building | Long Beach, California

For the next couple of months, I made countless friends at my local YSA Ward. I was curious and interested in finding out more about this whole different culture such as Family Home Evening (FHE), Institute, Young Single Adult (YSA) dances, etc. I also found out that Mormons believed in the same God, the same Jesus Christ and the same Holy Spirit as the rest of mainstream Christianity.

Kiley was my very first friend at the YSA Ward. She was always by my side and accompanied me to all the events, YSA dances and parties. If not for her, I probably would not have survived the first few months of YSA life.

As time went by, I learned so much about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and what they believed in. I came to believe the same things after finding out for myself that it was true. I was later baptized and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As my faith continued to grow, my social life struggled. Even though my first YSA experience was great, not everyone was friendly and I ended up having each successive Sister Missionary as my YSA friend most of the time. Eventually, one of my Sister Missionaries convinced me to move to Utah.

Literally, the coolest Temple Square Sisters I’ve ever had. They’ve all become my friends outside of their Mission. L-R Sister Vickie Nelson, Sister Leigh Mulliner, Sister Hannah Lampinen & Sister Gabriella Sorto.
2015 Temple Square | Spending a week in Utah to visit Sister Bailee Haight. Sister Haight was my longest (her entire Mission), most favorite Temple Square Sister.
2016 Provo, UT | Lauren Luter, (my first local Sister Missionary) convinced me that Provo is the best place on Earth and has been a huge influence in my move to Utah.

In November of 2016, I packed my bags and drove to Utah.

And so began a life of uncertainty and hope. I was excited to see how Utah life would be like but also felt sad not having my family close by. Besides my former Sister Missionary friends living in Provo, I didn’t know anyone. I had to build up my social circle which led me to join my first YSA Ward in Provo.

2017 Provo, UT | My first “unofficial” YSA Ward upon arriving in Utah. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

Since I lived near BYU, I decided to make the “Y” also a part of my social life. I became involved in the BYU Photo Club, BYU Democrats, BYU Baking Club, BYU Linux Club and attended many of their College events.

2017 BYU Wilkinson Student Center | Club Nights with the BYU Photo Club. I joined the BYU Photo Club even though I wasn’t a BYU Student and even got nominated for Club President one Semester (I refused for obvious reasons).

To conclude this blog post, here’s what I’ve noticed and experienced these past several years living in Utah County:

  1. It’s very non-diverse. I’m a tiny 0.1% minority.
  2. It’s so cold and it snows a lot. During the Summer, it’s scorching hot.
  3. Rush-hour traffic is virtually non-existent.
  4. There are so many cute girls around all the nearby cities and YSAs.

Despite #4, little did I know that I won’t be meeting the true love of my life until late 2018. All that stood between me and finding her would be two years and a swipe up on the Mutual dating app.

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